LinkedIn Prospecting Strategies That Brought Us 1,000 Leads

Hello, our regular reader or occasional visitor!

Today is a good day to talk a bit more about LinkedIn prospecting. What leads to tangible results there?

In this article, I’ll share some strategies and approaches to LinkedIn prospecting and sales in general that let us, Closely team, generate our first thousand of leads and then customers.

Here is what we will cover:

  • Tools that are advised to use
  • Important things to know to let you close deals
  • Scraping groups, events and posts – learn how to do it for free
  • Generating leads through content – done right
  • Overcoming LinkedIn limits – anything new here?
  • LinkedIn Outreach message that will do it all
  • Break-up message – don’t underestimate it!

There will be some sections covering your LinkedIn profile and some marketing theory — don’t worry, I am a bookworm when it comes to marketing, but no outdated stuff is included there. I’ve added only those things that I deem really important to work out before you proceed to lead generation. Otherwise, you’ll build a working funnel but leads will be flushed down the drain at the final step. We need to close deals and see real results.

All the following strategies we’ve tested ourselves, tweaked some of them to perfections until some framework appeared. Next thing — we test something new, and by now, let’s see what we have to share at this point.

In the end, I’ll share some strategies for multichannel outreach from our growth expert, Alex Tkachenko. Let’s go.

Tools that we will use

It’s important to obtain the right tech stack if you’re serious about LinkedIn lead generation. In fact, sales teams that incorporate the right automation tools usually can see the results immediately: not only their workflow gets streamlined, they save a wealth of time on lead generation, focusing on what requires their involvement and creativity: closing deals.

In order to get efficient in LinkedIn lead generation, you have to:

  1. improve your LinkedIn account continuously
  2. work on your brand identity
  3. create up-to-date, inspirational and unique content
  4. generate leads through content on autopilot
  5. work out your own style and get them on a call. have fun!
  6. dig new audiences every day, using advanced filters
  7. track results and secure data-driven decisions
  8. implement multi-channel marketing campaigns
  9. integrate different approaches and test various channels
  10. work in team

Based on all these, it’s safe to say that you tech stack should consist of:

  • powerful LinkedIn automation
  • growth hacking tools
  • email automation
  • contact database of emails and phone numbers

Sounds like a lot! The good news is — you can easily combine all these actions in Closely — LinkedIn automation and scraping platform. Let’s see what you can do in it, but first, I’d like to recall some crucial things, because in marketing and sales, it’s all effective when works together. You cannot omit any of the points in the list that I’ve added above — try to pay attention to every single point.

1. Improving your LinkedIn account continuously

Your LinkedIn account is the first thing your future customers pay attention to. The way you design it tells much about your personality. When it comes to designing a selling LinkedIn profile… you should forget about selling.

People don’t buy because you sell. They buy because they like something about you — the way you communicate, how comfortable they feel when talking to you, do you give them the vibe they like.

Would you feel comfortable next to a profile that throws a sales pitch right in your face?

Your profile should be about you and it should tell your story. No need to think up something creative here — it’s enough to just be yourself.

Since this article is about our results in LinkedIn prospecting, in Closely, — I’ll share how we approach this point.

  1. Visually appealing

We will be looking at me 🤓

On my profile, of course. It doesn’t matter whether you sell a B2B or a B2C product — it must be designed comprehensively and be visually appealing. It’s also important that all your marketing materials have the same style, font, color, etc.

Take a look at my background picture. It’s best if it’s not cluttered with elements, but at the same time gives an understanding of what it’s all about.

If you put a picture with your company’s name or slogan in the background — then it’s better to write something about you in a headline, not your company, to avoid sounding sales-y. Use this approach everywhere – provide your information in portions and maintain some logic in its structure.

About section

I want to stress this point one more time — it’s very hard to sell by selling. You can choose this way and come to this conclusion later.

People buy from people, not from products or companies, and it’s important that they see a person on your profile — not your company, not an advertisement lines.

This is my about section — don’t really imply that it’s something powerful, etc. I just like that people can learn something about me by taking a glance at my profile. Even if I don’t sell to them in the end — isn’t it a good thing overall?

Don’t treat every profile visitors as prospects — they can be just occasional visitors. Focus on building products that impact the world and be attentive and helpful to everybody who you interact with. Conversions are a “side” effect of your right approach.

Make your “about section” about you — share your experiences, how come you’re doing what you do now. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings or insights. If you’re serious about LinkedIn prospecting — you have to start sharing and writing. Because you’ll have to create content — it’s inevitable. You can’t survive in B2B without content marketing (at least, this year or the next couple of years).

Even when you’ll have enough customers — you should know how to retain them.

So, concluding everything that has been said in this section — invest in content, learn storytelling. If it’s not really your job (if you feel that it’s tough for you), then find a good content manager.

2. Working on your brand identity

This is going to be a short section and mostly of a use for startups.

When your product is at launch or in its early stage, it’s crucial to make it memorable on the market. You can use simple things for that — brand image (brand book), slogan, value proposition.

Design is power. People analyze a lot, but purchasing decisions are driven by emotions (yes, even in B2B!) Want to talk about it?)) Let’s chat alina.fesenko@closelyhq.com

A simple example: recently, I came across some very interesting product and I loved the intro video about it — it lets you create personalized videos for your email outreach. I thought “wow, we need to try this”. I noticed a slightly poor design and lack of “marketer’s hand” in this product, but the functionality seemed to be cutting-edge.

On the next day I wanted to refer to it but was unable to recall neither its name, nor its design. Nothing. The name was not memorable, design lacked clarity. The lack of a slogan or any “brand packing” element made it faceless.

The result? Great product, bad marketing — I forgot the whole idea.

So, please, don’t underestimate the power of branding.

What makes a cool brand that lets you acquire first customers that you crave so much?

  • Unity in all design elements
  • Value proposition that clearly puts you aside from your competitors and highlights your uniqueness and values (values for customers, of course) concluded in a clear statement (read about positioning statement – yes, I’m that nerdy marketer that read Kotler in university)
  • Team (real people with their real feelings and yes, even mistakes). If it’s not people – it can be anything that makes your brand alive (for B2C it can be some characters).

That’s it. Three main components.

How is it going to help you in LinkedIn prospecting? Well, as I mentioned at the beginning — it all works together. Before we jump into LinkedIn prospecting part, it’s imperative to set other things up. What’s the point in effective lead generation if it doesn’t result in any kind of conversions? Since people will be landing on your profile and then getting acquainted with your brand — it’s crucial to make sure they’re not going to get lost there, like me with that video-generating software.

3. Creating up-to-date, inspirational content

Let’s not drag around here either.

It’s pretty straightforward — content is your form of communication with your customers. It should:

  1. Be. It should be — not in a form of SEO articles (well, not only) but also in a form of some useful stuff — PDFs, guides, your own articles, videos. There is no way you can get around content marketing, not a single way, no matter whether it’s a B2C product or a B2B (in our case it’s a B2B – if we’re talking about LinkedIn leadgen, but I mentioned it because it really doesn’t matter which product — content fuels them all).
  2. Up-to-date. You should post content all the time. At first it’s going to be bad quality — but it’s fine, every startup goes through it. Eventually, it’ll be become better. Once, you’ll notice that it’s a leadgen machine and that it makes your leads turn heads toward your product and prefer you over others.
  3. Inspirational. Yes, I know that B2B is a world of facts and numbers. But I know also that people buy B2B products, not robots. Content should inspire actions. There are people with scientific approach who are all about technical articles, terms, etc. If your audience is also like this — maybe you should consider hiring such a writer. But I don’t know a single person who is fond of landing pages with tons of texts, or who reads emails that look like a blanket of text, to the end. Don’t forget that we’re doing marketing. Here both content and its form matters. Learn how to translate your ideas into simple words. Add an emotional touch to it — it’s always better to just be yourself and write what you think. Just do it and you’ll work out an understanding of how to do it better for your product, after some time.

A few words about why are you reading this

You may ask: “Hey, Alina, with all due respect, why do we need to read this if we KNOW this all. Well, I’m going to tell you why”.

Let’s look at this: any theory about LinkedIn prospecting boils down to the importance of avoiding sales pitches in the first message of your sequence. Open your LinkedIn Inbox. How many pushy messages do you have? I get them quite regularly. Besides, I can always see when it’s automation.

But the fact that you use automation doesn’t mean that your sequences should be dry and cold. Automation is only a tool — no amount of personalized videos or gifs, automated sequences will replace your understanding of how to build those sequences so they don’t sound pushy or sales-y.

Why should I react to this message and click on its link? I don’t know a person, I didn’t have a chance to know him, I didn’t get the point – because to me, everything that pushes me to “click” on something in the first message on LinkedIn is sales-y and I don’t like it. What about you? Would you be interested and click on the link?

And this happens at the same time when every single blog article or book on LinkedIn prospecting will tell you NOT TO SELL FROM A CONNECTION MESSAGE. People tend to overlook theory.

That’s why I think it’s important to mention theory each time when you write about practical matters such as LinkedIn prospecting. Otherwise there won’t be any conversions, regardless of a huge influx of leads. There simple won’t be any mechanisms to deal with the bottom of the funnel.

My example with the tool that creates personalized videos in the previous paragraph tells for itself: if there was good marketing behind that product — I’d recall its name, or anything from a brand identity’s elements that would help me memorize this product. That’s why neglecting simple marketing rules will cost you customers, even if you think that in B2B/SaaS/any other business area/ product marketing theory doesn’t matter.

Start with learning what is brand and brand’s theory.

In simpler words — brand is what makes you distinguishable from other products.

Brand development is performed by a design team, so yes, it’s very important to have a skilled designer who will help you distinguish your brand from others and make it recognizable and comprehensive.

Don’t get me wrong — I don’t mean that you have to become nothing in bright wrapping. Anything can become your brand identity — even what you write in your articles and your views. The vibe of your team.

However, at the beginning, any startup needs a good design team – visual perception plays a great role in brand recognition, so don’t neglect it and don’t let your good product struggle because of poor marketing.

Almost ready for your prospecting

When you’re finished with polishing your profile and putting it all together in one single brand, — it’s time to connect with your audience.

A few practical details:

  • You’ll be doing automated LinkedIn prospecting, so it’s imperative to warm up your account first. Connections, endorsements, skills assessment, getting more scores to your SSI may help. In this article you can find more information on the steps to take. And here is a brief summary:

Consider also filling out all necessary fields to make your profile look completed. Add experience, education, languages, interests.

Add skills and ask other people for endorsements (if you feel so).

At first, it’s better to add connections manually. It takes time – a few months at least to get your freshly-created account ready.

Let’s assume that it’s all polished and now it’s time to roll your sleeves and het your hands on LinkedIn prospecting.

LinkedIn prospecting — pillars

Before, I wrote an article explaining what is a cold message and what’s its specifics for LinkedIn. It’s a full guide to LinkedIn cold message sequence and LinkedIn prospecting. Scroll through it to grasp an idea — all these things matter.

In this article, we will be talking about real strategies that brought in results for us. Now, since your profile is ready and people can recall and distinguish you on the market, it’s time to start diving slowly into this deep ocean that’s called LinkedIn prospecting and sales.

It has a few very straightforward rules:

  1. Never sell from the first message
  2. Always set a goal behind your campaign
  3. Don’t work without analytics
  4. Always automate lead generation and put the best people to close deals

Let’s pause a bit at the first point – never sell from the first message.

It’s important to highlight this again, because to get any measurable results from your prospecting, you have to learn how to build selling sequences without selling. Read our templates but don’t just copy them and paste the name of your product in it. Use them as a trampoline — something to be bounced from.

Normally, a sequence should start with some common ground (connection message).

Don’t set another message to come right after a connection request is accepted. Make it 2-3 days at least before the next message in your sequence is sent.

The second message should be always about you greeting the other person and saying thank you for connecting. It’s not about selling or talking about your product either.

Instead of pushing them to jump on a call with you, think about setting other goals for your campaigns, like growing your Facebook community or making them read your PDFs.

Share your content (not from the first or second message either), invite them to your webinars or subscribe to your Youtube channel.

We’re ready for out next paragraph where I’ll share the best performing templates for this conversion goal with you.

4. Generate leads through content on autopilot

How to guarantee that they’ll read my content?

The answer is really simple. Target right people!

That’s how we got our first customers. We used Closely to scrape relevant people from LinkedIn groups and events and did it many times to then target them with relevant messages.

  1. We created PDF guides where we shared our experiences working with B2B products and some of the best templates for LinkedIn outreach.
  2. We went on LinkedIn and searched for groups and events, related to B2B sales/ LinkedIn prospecting/ B2B SaaS/Growth marketing. Then we used Closely to scrape those audiences and built prospect lists in Closely:

Knowing that you reach out to people who have the greatest chance of getting interested in your content is everything you need.

3. Then we created sequences:

  1. Connection request

Hello {name},

I’m growing my professional network and would be happy to connect with you.

Hope we can learn from each other!

2. Greetings

Hello! Thank you for connecting with me.

I’m working with B2B SaaS products. Actually, I’ve been in sales for 8 years now.

LinkedIn prospecting seems like an unbelievably difficult task, especially if you’re a newcomer 🤱🏻

However, if you have enough leads to work with, you can test strategies and tweak them to perfection. How do you do that with that 100-connections-per-week limit coming into way?

We’ve created a full guide on how to overcome LinkedIn connection limits + added some spicy templates for your sequences. These strategies let us get 125 new users and 403 new Facebook group members, hurdle-free.

Here it is ➡️ LINK

I’d love if you check it and get back to me sharing whether implemented strategies got you any results.

Cheers,

{my_first_name}.

3. No? Fine, but let’s check – maybe something has happened

Hey! Just wanted to check in on this dialogue — it seems like you didn’t see my message 🐤

{my_first_name}.

4. Ok, I got your point, but in case you really missed it, here is one more message with a focused value in it.

Hey hey {first_name}, It looks like you don’t see our communication leading to any growth

🤷🏼‍♀️

That’s totally fine, I’m sure we may connect again, all in good time. On a lighter note, in case you’d like to dive a bit more into LinkedIn cold outreach hacks & get some insightful tool reviews, here is a link to our FB community LINK There are tons of free content, PDF guides, webinars and lots of discussions.

{my_first_name}.

We’ve created not just one sequence, but approximately 10 of them, all within the same structure: connection message > gently greeting + bringing up CTA > checking on a dialogue > breaking up but with another CTA (join Facebook group).

You’ll be amazed but hyper-focused targeting (scraping from events and posts) + such sequences let us make initial push for our FB group and acquire first members. Some of the people who read our content, clicking on a link in the second message of this sequence — became our customers and learned about Closely in this way.

But first thing? They engaged in content because they didn’t get the feeling that we’re going to sell them something. We just shared our results and created a practical guide to help one overcome the LinkedIn connection limit — that’s it. Those who wanted — get acquainted with the product. The majority fell off — it’s ok. You should be ready for this — some people will just come and grab immediate value. It’s going to be like this.

Webinars

Webinars are very important for B2B customers. I know, it sounds very scary — the same question here as with content — what will I talk about if I don’t have that much of experience?

The answer is simple: talk about things that you know. Talk about your product. If you’re in your 30, you should have some experiences, even if in other business fields. Tell why did you get into this field, what you’ve learned, how your product solve problems, which problems, who will benefit from your product and in what way.

The best way to start out in this is to find someone to create podcasts with. Or just create your first webinar and send invitations, using Closely. This tool will help you automate your connections and invite people to your webinar in mass.

Just use any sequence from Closely’s template page – closelyhq.com/templates, choose “invite to webinar” section because this is your goal, and filter by the type of personalization in your message.

5. Work out your own style and get them on a call. Have fun!

Although generating leads through content is a winning strategy in LinkedIn prospecting, it doesn’t mean you should forget about trying to get them on a call through your sequence.

A very important thing to pay attention to here is working out your own style.

What do I mean?

In the sea of repetitive, dry and sales-y LinkedIn pitches, your message must stand out. You couldn’t achieve this by repeating the same things that others did. Your own style means writing in your own words, from your mind and heart.

If you think that it’s hard to learn — I’ll tell you that it’s not. I’m pretty sure that you didn’t get into your business occasionally — if you’ve created a product that can change something in this life for better, then you’re a deep, interesting person. The only thing that is left is to learn how to wrap your thoughts into a form of a message and convey your message clearly.

Just apply these simple rules:

  • Make it short (after you’ve written your message, go trough it and shorten it to a maximum of 6-7 sentences.
  • Add a structure to your text so it’s visually comprehensive
  • Add emojis – but not after each sentence
  • Keep the logic flowing throughout your text
  • Ask you colleague what he or she thinks about it

No every one have a zest for writing, so maybe your role should be something else. In this case, don’t force yourself if it’s hard for you — just find a skilled and passionate writer or sales rep for this job.

A message that has a personality touch in it is always treated well. You have to have fun while writing your messages, otherwise it won’t work. Why should people feel enthusiastic about your product if it’s not fun even for you to talk about it?

What about something like:

Hello! Thank you for connecting with me.

I’m working with B2B SaaS products. Actually, I’ve been in sales for 8 years now.

What about you? I’d really love to talk some time and share experiences. I know that {company_name} is creating amazing things and I would be truly happy to talk over a cup of coffee (in Google Meet I mean🤓) some time.

Remember that each message sequence takes time to be tested and assessed.

This message resulted in a high reply rate for us and it’s about asking them to jump on a call:

Hey {name},

Expanding your outreach on LinkedIn seems like an unbelievably difficult task, especially if you’re a newcomer 🤱🏻

We’ve been through all the beginner’s struggles and gradually learned how to speed up lead generation through LinkedIn without increasing budgets and 2x times faster 🎉🏒🙈

I would be happy to share our experience and help you generate more SQLs through LinkedIn by legally expanding your network and implementing the latest hacks and strategies. 

Let’s have a quick talk? Here is a link to my Calendly, feel free to book any time slot available: 

I’m sure we can be useful to each other, and I would be glad to exchange experiences!

Remember, that if your sequence comes off ineffective — it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you, that you’re not skilled etc. Test, test, test again. Change wording, change audience, improve your profile — it’s usually the three of this where something goes wrong.

Equip yourself with analytics to measure the result of each campaign — in Closely, you can easily integrate analytics into your workflow, and see where your should double your efforts, and where to pull over.

After some time it becomes clear what works better than other — it’s best to always keep your hands on analytics to be able to secure data-drive decisions.

6. Dig new audiences every day, using advanced filters

LinkedIn Sales Navigator lets you apply various filters to reach out to new people everyday.

Use one filter or a combination of filters, try different locations to dig more and more leads.

Comb through each single group and event on LinkedIn, related to your industry. The more contacts you get — the wider becomes your field for experimentation.

Of course, since there is a way to get around the LinkedIn connection limit —simply by uploading a file with your prospects’ emails to Closely, so you can easily test it and hook more leads in your funnel.

Here is a full guide to overcoming the LinkedIn connection limit using Closely:

Filter by location

If you think that you’ve run out of leads — simply recall how many states and cities your country has. You can always find new prospects searching in new geographic area.

Just literally open a map of your country and write down all cities.

I know the time is running up, but I want to back myself up here with a small story from my experience.

So, I’m 20 y.o., trying to find new customers for my business (9 years ago). At that time, there was no automation, but there was social media and the desire to earn money 😅

So I did cold outreach manually. Each time when I thought that I’m out of leads and there is a dead wall in front of me — I simply filtered by new location each new time (new city) and voila — the wall fell down.

Use various keywords

The story goes on — when location doesn’t work by itself — apply location + other job title. When you think that you’ve already found all the groups related to your niche, experiment with other keywords and synonyms.

7. Implement multi-channel marketing campaigns

According to best some best prospecting practices, negative reply is better than nothing.

In order to guarantee you get that reply — reach your audiences through various channels.

Collect all people who didn’t reply > put their profiles into a CSV file > upload that file to some enrichment tool (for example, LeadRocks), get their emails and download the file with emails > upload that file to your email outreach automation.

Some of them will reply. Others won’t.

Reach out to them in WhatsApp. Enrichment tools like LeadRocks lets you enrich your file with LinkedIn profile links and get your prospects’ emails and phone numbers.

If they’re not ready to buy yet — offer them some other value: subscribing to your news, joining your Facebook group, etc.

It will buy you more channels to interact with your prospects and warm them. They will benefit by accessing value without giving away their card’s details.

The more passive channels of communication with your prospects you create — the easier will it be for you to warm them and lead them to a conversion.

Some strategies for multichannel campaigns to try out from our growth expert, Alex:

  1. Reach out to 100 people through the first channel
  2. Run your campaign
  3. Single out those who replied pozitively, negatively and those who didn’t reply at all
  4. Remove those who replied negatively

In email you can filter your audiences as following:

  • Those who replied and didn’t take action
  • Those who opened an email and did nothing
  • Those who didn’t reply but clicked on the link
  • Those who bounced

From these audiences, first of all, you want to deal with those who clicked — they showed that they got interested. Others come later. That’s the order for your work.

Then, depending on which channel came first, you need to enrich your base with other contact details of your prospects.

If you started from LinkedIn, you can enrich your file with LinkedIn profile URLs with emails using LeadRocks and then run your email campaigns using any email automation.

If you started from email:

  • Try to invite them to connect using the “Invite-by-email” in LinkedIn and Facebook
  • Search them in Facebook or LinkedIn by name and second name manually

There are also some basic ground things:

  1. you can expect more replies from business emails
  2. LinkedIn is more effective for B2B prospecting than Facebook

In Closely, there will be a feature letting you sort out your contacts (as in a CRM system).

8. Break-up message – don’t underestimate it!

A break-up message is something that is seriously underestimated. But in fact, silence doesn’t mean that this deal is lost.

Try to reach out with the message that will suggest some value if a person is not ready to jump on a call with you.

We’ve tried these 4 follow-ups to encourage those who didn’t reply to any of the previous messages in a sequence to join our group. It worked fantastically — high reply rate with people responding something like “I was busy, sorry, didn’t see your message”, etc. A lot of people followed the link and joined our group on Facebook.

  1. Hey hey {first_name}, It looks like you don’t see our communication leading to any growth
🤷🏼‍♀️

That’s totally fine, I’m sure we may connect again, all in good time. On a lighter note, in case you’d like to dive a bit more into LinkedIn cold outreach hacks & get some insightful tool reviews, here is a link to our FB community LINK There are tons of free content, PDF guides, webinars and lots of discussions

🙌🏻

Regards, {my_first_name}.

2. Hey {first_name}, Sadly, didn’t get any reply from you. This makes me think you’re not open for communication

😌

That’s totally fine, I understand you might be busy. All in all, it was a pleasure to connect. In case you’d like to stay updated on latest LinkedIn sales hacks and receive the freshest, industry-leading reviews & insights — we will be happy to greet you over in our growth community on Facebook: LINK

🌝

Cheers! {my_first_name}.

3. Hey there! Just wanted to check in on whether my message got delivered. Sadly, there hasn’t been any reply from you. It may mean you’re not open for communication, and that’s totally ok. Just in case you’d like to tune in to the freshest content & tool reviews — I’ll leave here the link to our community for growth buddies

🪴
🕵🏼

on Facebook: LINK Will be nice to see you there. {my_first_name}.

The takeaway is: never underestimate the power of a break-up message! If they’re silent, you can still get them interested, asking for a smaller commitment.

Conclusion

LinkedIn prospecting is a very funny game. Closely will help you overcome LinkedIn connection limits, connect with hyper-relevant people and provide a field for experiments.

It’s very important to be skilled in marketing/branding theory if you have a startup and intend to reach out to your customers and don’t neglect simple but powerful marketing rules.

Your LinkedIn profile is your business card: but it should’t look like ad materials. People buy from people — let your prospects see your personality in your profile and learn a bit about you.

Content is power — you’ll have to learn how to create useful, up-to-date, and your unique content to win a heart of your buyers. You communicate through content — make it practical and let it come from your experience, your mind and heart.

LinkedIn prospecting can be fully automated through Closely — but in order to gain more, you should start testing multichannel campaigns. Use tools like LeadRocks to enrich your contact lists with emails and phone numbers and reach out to those who didn’t reply to you on LinkedIn.

That’s it. Thank you for your attention and see you around!

Don’t forget to join the Closers Community > a place for growth and sales enthusiasts.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/thecloserscom